Triodos Bank UK is launching a £3 million charity bond on its crowdfunding platform to support Nottinghamshire YMCA with the completion of the Newark and Sherwood Community and Activity Village, a pioneering project that, with its partners, will deliver transformational services for the town and local area.
Nottinghamshire YMCA has been working to build stronger communities since 1871 and is devoted to promoting youth development, healthy living and social responsibility for all. The charity delivers a broad range of frontline services and works tirelessly in its mission to encourage young people to belong, contribute and thrive.
There is, however, a need to address the root causes of social, health and wellbeing issues in the region₁, in order to make fundamental and long-lasting changes. The impact of Covid-19 has increased demand for several YMCA services and through the creation of the Newark and Sherwood Community and Activity Village, a community-led and designed facility, the charity hopes to create opportunities and a positive future for everyone living locally.
Todd Cauthorn, executive director at YMCA in Newark and Sherwood said: “The Village project has been shaped with local people over several years, to support local aspirations and local challenges. We want to bring people of all ages and backgrounds together to improve community cohesion, skill levels, confidence, educational attainment, employment and health. The investment crowdfunding will help us to complete this project and to start building a brighter future for this area and its community.”
The facility will bring together world-class sporting facilities and life-changing family and youth development programmes in one purpose-built building and site in the centre of the district. The first £4 million phase of the Newark and Sherwood Community and Activity Village – the provision of 3G football pitches, athletics track and multi-use games areas – is already complete. Nottinghamshire YMCA is now seeking the crowdfunding investment, which combined with a broader funding package, will fund the construction of the main building and further sports, educational and leisure facilities.
The building has been designed to incorporate a number of partner organisations that will provide synergistic programmes to the facilities and family and youth development programmes being offered by YMCA. It will house a nursery, community café, music and media suites, education and training suites, and indoor sports hall including an Olympic standard climbing centre. More information on the Newark and Sherwood Community and Activity Village’s facilities, programmes and partners can be found at ymcanewarksherwood.org.
Dan Hird, head of corporate finance at Triodos, said: “This is a special initiative carefully designed through intensive collaboration with the community and a number of key partners. We have all had a greater appreciation lately of how important it is to have strong communities, who support and look out for one another. The impact of this new facility will be felt across every generation helping to tackle a high level of childhood obesity, lower educational attainment, a lack of social mobility and ill health. Nottinghamshire YMCA is fully committed to building and delivering this project and we are delighted to bring it our platform as it’s the kind of impactful and powerful investment we’re sure our investors would like to support.”
The bond is a £3 million six-year bond paying 6% interest annually and will be a vital part of the £12.5 million needed to complete the Community and Activity Village. As with all investments, interest payments and return of capital are not guaranteed. There is a £50 minimum investment, and the bond is eligible to be held in a Triodos Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) that allows interest to be received tax-free. ISA eligibility does not guarantee returns or protect consumers from losing their money.
Support for the remaining capital for the project has been secured from capital grants, as well as a loan facility from Triodos Bank UK. Dan Hird added: “As well as our investment crowdfunding offer, we’re pleased to support YMCA with lending from the bank. The organisation closely aligns with our mission to promote quality of life for all – it’s just the kind of project that we want to support with a range of appropriate financing.”